Former Jackson Nanny Alleges Drug Abuse in U.K. Paper

Ex-employee of late pop icon alleges dark side of Jackson in interview that took place prior to his death

By Megan Masters Jun 29, 2009 12:07 AMTags
Michael Jackson, Grace RwarambaAP Photo/Alastair Grant, Getty Images

While we're still trying to sift through what's fact and what's fiction in the aftermath of Michael Jackson's life, The Times of London has just published a doozy. In an interview that the newspaper says was conducted before Jackson's death on Thursday, the star's former nanny claims she witnessed Jackson abuse prescription drugs.

"He always ate too little and mixed too much. I had to pump his stomach many times...He always mixed so much of it," Grace Rwaramba, an employee of nearly 17 years, said of Jackson's medication habit.

According to the Times article, the addiction issues became so immense that Rwaramba, Michael's sister Janet and mother, Katherine, attempted to intervene, much to the dismay of the late singer.

"We tried to do an intervention. He was so angry with me," said Rwaramba.

She also addressed debt and money issues, claiming that the singer was broke at the time of his death and hid money throughout his house.

"Michael had no idea about money. He got a proposal to make an appearance in Japan for $1 million," she told the Times. "I knew how many people were involved. By the time everyone took their share, he ended up with $200,000."

When the family arrived at Jackson's Holmby Hills house on Friday, Katherine reportedly reached out to Rwaramba about her son's money.

"She said, 'Grace, the children are crying. They are asking about you. They can't believe that their father died. Grace, you remember Michael used to hide cash at the house. I am here. Where can it be?' " Rwaranda is quoted as saying.

Described in the Times as a mother figure to Jackson's children, Rwaramba reportedly instructed Katherine to look "at the garbage bags and under the carpets." Then, according to the newspaper, Jackson's mother urged Rwaramba to come to Los Angeles. "She said, 'Grace, where are you? Come. I will pick you up from the airport.' She sounded so strong. So strong!"

Rwaramba is now in Los Angeles and will cooperate with the LAPD's investigation of Jackson's death. She will reportedly be interviewed on Thursday.

After the Times article hit the Web this morning, longtime Jackson and Rwaramba friend and daughter of famed spirituality guru Deepak Chopra, Mallika Chopra, took to her blog to defend the former nanny, explaining that she believes the article is full of half-truths and chastises the writer, Daphne Barak.

"Michael had a pattern of letting those close to him in and out of his life, and Grace was no exception," writes Mallika. "Over the years, Grace faced a similar cycle of wanting to save him and being hurt by him. It was an endless cycle…Michael had a knack of surrounding himself with enablers, and avoiding people who wanted to help him like his family, real friends who cared deeply about him, Grace and my father, Deepak Chopra."

Rwaramba's friend states that the former nanny has never spoken to the press throughout her 17 years under Jackson's employ and condemns Barak for taking advantage of her during a vulnerable time.

"Daphne [wrote] an article full of quotes by Grace for a tabloid magazine [and] Grace's quotes are now being picked up by other tabloids." Chopra goes on to explain what she sees as inaccuracies in the way the Times article is written, saying: "For the record, Grace never pumped Michael's stomach. She has no idea how she would even do such a thing."

According to Chopra, Rwaramba's statements were made, but under great distress and are now being nipped and tucked to fit an image the media is portraying of Jackson.

Wherever the truth lies, it won't likely be revealed until the autopsy results and toxicology reports come back within the next two months.